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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Heat Pump in Tucson?

Shopping for a new heat pump is like shopping for new shoes. You want something that fits your needs and your budget.

With a heat pump in specific, you’ll probably want to know how much to budget for and what you should look for in a new heat pump to meet your Tucson home’s needs.

You should loosely budget anywhere from $6,319 to $11,590, which is the typical cost range for a heat pump installation in Tucson.

Multiple factors affect what you should look for in a new heat pump and the final cost, such as:

  • The size of the heat pump
  • The efficiency of the heat pump (SEER and HSPF)
  • The length of the heat pump’s warranties
  • Any extra features added to the installation
  • The HVAC contractor you hire

We’ll discuss each of the factors in detail below so you’ll have a better approximation of how much your new heat pump will cost.

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Want an upfront quote for your heat pump installation specific to your Tucson home and needs? Contact Advantage Air Mechanical.

Cost Factor #1: The size of the heat pump

The larger the heat pump, the more expensive it will be.

By size, we are referring to the heating or cooling capacity a heat pump has, which is measured in “tonnage.” Tons are not the weight of the unit, but rather the amount of heat a heat pump can move in/out of your home in an hour. Most residential heat pumps are sized at 1-5 tons.

It’s important to know what the right size heat pump is for your home when you go shopping around for brands. The right heat pump size is the one that’s not too big or too small.

An oversized heat pump cools/heats your home quickly then shuts off over and over again. This is called “short-cycling,” and wears out the mechanics of your heat pump. Over time, short-cycling leads to early breakdowns and wastes money. like a car would waste gas if you shut off the engine at every stoplight.

An undersized heat pump can’t cool or heat your home effectively, so it runs constantly to compensate. The overuse leads to an uneven temperature throughout your home and high energy bills.

To determine the best heat pump size for your home, you’ll want to speak with an HVAC professional. A high-quality technician will perform a “Manual J Load Calculation” to determine the right size by taking into consideration multiple factors like:

  • The size of your home
  • The number of people living in your home
  • The condition of your home’s insulation and ductwork
  • The # of windows, doors and rooms
  • Your home’s orientation (east or west-facing) and landscape (trees, lots of shade)
  • Your local climate
  • Your lifestyle and temperature preferences

A proper load calculation assessment is vital to ensuring you have the proper heat pump size, which will help reduce your monthly energy bills, maintain your unit’s lifespan and increase the comfort of your home.

Cost Factor #2: The efficiency of the heat pump

The higher the efficiency rating (e.g. SEER or HSPF), the more expensive the heat pump will be.

Heat pumps have 2 main ratings that help you compare the energy-efficiency of different heat pumps:

  1. SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating)
  2. HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor)

The energy-efficiency ratings affect both installation and monthly operating costs. Let’s look at the ratings in more detail below.

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating):

The SEER rating will tell you how energy-efficient a heat pump is at cooling your home. SEER measures how much cooling a heat pump can provide compared to how much electricity it consumes. A high SEER rating means the heat pump will be more energy-efficient and expensive.

Most residential heat pumps have a SEER rating of 14-18+. The higher the SEER rating, the less electricity the heat pump consumes, making it more efficient. While the federal minimum requirement for a SEER rating in Arizona is 14, we recommend Arizona homeowners go for a SEER of 15+.

Even though a 15+ SEER heat pump costs more upfront, they can help you save long-term on cooling costs and are better at evenly cooling your home. Both benefits are especially useful when you live in hot Arizona and have high energy bills.

HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor):

While SEER ratings look at cooling efficiency, HSPF ratings look at how energy-efficient a heat pump is at heating your home. The higher the HSPF rating, the more efficient the heat pump is at heating your home, which will make the heat pump more expensive.

HSPF ratings start at 8.2+. Since Arizona winters are mild, we recommend Tucson homeowners go for the federal minimum HSPF requirement of 8.2. If you want a higher HSPF rating than 8.2, consult with an HVAC professional to help you choose a heat pump that best fits your heating needs.

Cost Factor #3: The length of the heat pump’s warranties

When you opt for extended warranties with your new heat pump, you will have to pay more for the longer coverage.

You’ll want to go for the best warranties you can afford since they can help offset major repair costs down the line.

Heat pump warranties can be split into two categories:

  • Manufacturer’s (parts) warranty: Most heat pumps come with a limited parts warranty that lasts for 5-10 years depending on the manufacturer. This warranty covers the cost of fixing or replacing a part due to a manufacturing defect. You can also opt to pay for a more comprehensive extended parts warranty. That said, the additional cost can help save you money later when you’re dealing with a major repair.
  • Labor warranty: Labor warranties are offered by the HVAC contractor who installed your heat pump. It covers the cost of labor to repair an installation mistake and it lasts for 1-5 years after the initial installation. You can also buy an extended labor warranty that will cover labor costs for more time.

When you’re deciding on warranty lengths, remember to take into consideration how long you’ll be living in your current home. For instance, if you’re going to move in 5 years, you probably shouldn’t invest in extended warranties since you wouldn’t see the cost savings.

Cost Factor #4: Any extra features added to the installation

The more features you add to the heat pump installation, the more it will cost.

Examples of features you can add to installation include:

  • Smart thermostats: Programmable thermostats are great for convenience since they can be controlled via your smartphone and they help generate cost-savings on your energy bills.
  • Products to improve your air quality: UV lights and dehumidifiers can improve your home’s air quality by killing airborne contaminants in your home.
  • Noise-reducing add-ons: Dampening strips and noise-reduction fan blades help quiet your AC down.

During your first consultation about a new heat pump, an HVAC technician can help you determine if you’d benefit from any additional features.

Cost Factor #5: The HVAC contractor you hire

The more skilled the HVAC contractor, the more they will likely charge for their labor. Even so, the higher upfront cost shouldn’t discourage you.

A new heat pump is a big-ticket investment so hiring an HVAC contractor with the experience to correctly size and install the heat pump is vital. Otherwise, you may end up having to pay to fix the contractor’s mistakes in the future. A poor installation job can cause the pump to run inefficiently and may result in a premature breakdown.

To find a good heat pump installer in Tucson, look around and ask if they:

  • Have an Arizona license transparently listed on their website
  • Have a business history going back 10+ years so you can check their track record
  • Offer upfront, written estimates so you know they will stick to the original quoted price
  • Perform a Manual J Load calculation and inspection of your home versus trying to determine your heat pump size over the phone
  • Charge an hourly or a flat-rate cost for their heat pump installations

Want a smooth heat pump installation experience? Contact Advantage Air Mechanical

If you need a new heat pump, contact our team. For 30+ years, we’ve earned the trust of our Tucson customers by never upselling them on unnecessary products and by offering a 100% satisfaction guarantee as well as up to a 10-year labor warranty. We also provide financing options for your heat pump installation.

Schedule an appointment today filling out our schedule form or calling us at (520)-792-9400.